The Autoimmune Paleo Diet

The Autoimmune Paleo Diet with Dr. Sarah Ballantyne

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Sarah Ballantyne talks about The Autoimmune Paleo Diet.

Sarah is the creator of; cohost of The Paleo View Podcast; and bestselling author of The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook. Sarah earned her doctorate in medical biophysics and spent years doing research on critical care medicine, innate immunity, gene therapy and cell biology, earning a variety of awards for research excellence along the way.

Sarah’s transition from academic researcher to stay-at-home mom to award-winning and internationally-recognized health advocate and educator was driven by her own health journey, which included losing 120 pounds and using both diet and lifestyle to mitigate and reverse a dozen diagnosed health conditions. Sarah is deeply interested in understanding how the foods we eat interact with our gut barriers, immune systems, and hormones to influence health.

Main Questions Asked about the Autoimmune Paleo Diet:

  • What is the difference between the Paleo diet and the Autoimmune Paleo diet?
  • Do you have any tips for transitioning into the Autoimmune Protocol?
  • How do vegetarians and vegans work with the Autoimmune Protocol?

Key Points Made by Sarah about the Autoimmune Paleo Diet:

  • Food provides the basic building blocks our body’s need, but can also contain inflammatory and other things that undermine our health.
  • Food can be broken down into food with lots of good stuff, or lots of bad stuff, and then a group somewhere in between.
  • Foods with compelling nutrition may still be unfit for people with gut issues.
  • Anything that stimulates the immune system is eliminated from the Autoimmune Paleo diet.
  • The Autoimmune Paleo diet focuses on foods that are nutrient dense and don’t have negative effects on the immune system or gut.
  • Eggs are off the menu due to the tendency for them to help certain protein fragments into the gut plus food sensitivities.
  • Nuts and seeds are also off, due to some of the anti-nutrients concentrated in nuts.
  • All dairy is off the table because of some proteins that can be inflammatory or feed certain bacteria. Alcohol is off the list for similar reasons.
  • The overall focus is making sure your foods are the most nutrient dense possible while removing the ones that aren’t, though it’s not a permanent lifestyle change.
  • Even with such a strict diet, you will have to attend to the cues your body gives you and modify accordingly.
  • Gut health is built into the Autoimmune Protocol – don’t try to mix more than one diet at the same time.
  • Most of the time you can take small steps when adopting a new diet, break it up into small pieces.
  • When changing your diet, make sure you get enough sleep. It will make your hard choices easier and you will be able to manage your cravings more effectively.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan diets will have a tough time adopting the Autoimmune Protocol. There are a lot of vitamins and minerals that are primarily found in animal foods.
  • Cultures with low disease rates commonly incorporate insects into their diets.

Resources Mentioned for the Autoimmune Paleo Diet:

The Paleo Approach

The Paleo Approach Cookbook

The Healing Kitchen

Sarah’s website

Sarah’s podcast

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

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